Israeli teacher went to protect his students, became victim instead

Barzilai was nearly beaten to death by an Arab mob. His condition remains critical.

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli educator Elad Barzilai, 31, left his home in search of his students to keep them out of trouble on Wednesday night in the city of Acre. An Arab mob found him instead. Badly beaten, he remains in hospital, ventilated and under sedation after undergoing head surgery.

Barzilai taught with every fiber of his being, his cousin, Tal Cohen, told Walla News. Given his actions, it’s a statement readily believed. Barzilai feared his students would get into mischief as mob rule has taken over the streets of a number of Israeli cities, with Arabs and Jews looking to take revenge on the other side.

Barzilai wanted to keep his students out of trouble and stop them from participating in acts of violence that have taken place in the cities of Lod, Beer Sheba, Holon, Jaffa and his hometown of Acre, to name a few.

Unfortunately, he encountered an Arab mob out for blood. They surrounded his car and began stoning it. They hit him with sticks all over his body. By the time he was evacuated to the hospital, he was in critical condition with serious head injuries.

“All the Arabs did there was ambush him. They understood that he was a Jew and they took him apart,” Cohen said. “He just wanted to make sure that his students were not at the heart of the riots or doing what they should not do.”

Barzilai is married and a father of four. “He is a man who contributes so much to the community, a man who educates his children and his students to love their fellow man… but this is the price of being a resident of Acre,” Cohen said.

“Tell you I’m surprised? It’s a joke. The fiction of coexistence I do not buy for pennies,” Cohen added. “We are not in headlines like Lod, and we are not explosive like Jerusalem and we are swallowed up between the lines.”

There have been several instances of “lynchings” as they’re called in Israel as Arab-Jewish violence spreads. On Wednesday night, a Jewish mob attacked an Arab driver in Bat Yam. He was listed in moderate condition.

In Lod earlier in the week, at least two Jews were attacked in their cars.

In Jerusalem on Monday, in a dramatic incident caught on video, a Jewish man stoned by Arab rioters crashed his car. They then tried to pull him and the other passengers from his vehicle. He was rescued by a police officer.